Lusaka Lawyer Kelvin Bwalya Fube has asked the Patriotic Front leadership to stop misleading Zambians that Cabinet ministers are answerable to Davies Mwila in his capacity as party CEO saying there is a difference between the party and government.
And Fube says there is state capture in the PF government where duly elected leaders are failing to perform according to expectations because they cannot take certain actions due to their dependence on “economic partners”.
Speaking when he featured on a Diamond Television show dubbed Costa, Sunday, Fube insisted that cabinet ministers were only answerable to Mwila as members of parliament from the PF and not as government officials in their ministerial positions.
“If anyone has read the PF constitution, they will understand the strata. The President is on top, then we have the Vice-President, as executive functionaries of the party. When you have the Chairperson of the party, his role is to supervise the general administration of the secretariat but the CEO of the secretariat is the Secretary General. But when you hear people say, as ministers that they are answerable to the Secretary General, it is wrong. The ministers are answerable to the President, he’s the appointing authority at that level. But as MPs belonging to the PF, the ministers are answerable to the Secretary General to the extent that they are discussing party affairs not government affairs. Let’s not mislead the people, and it is important that we understand that the government is made of the PF but the government is not PF. That’s very important, the Secretary general is number three in the party hierarchy not in government,” Fube said.
“The Secretary General is only recognised to the extent that he is the CEO of the party and it is the party in power. But can the Secretary General fire a minister? Of course not, what legal authority does he have? None! He can recommend to the President that the minister gets fired and that’s different. But the power is in President, let’s not mislead people. Let’s read the PF constitution and interpret it the way it was meant to be interpreted. It’s not that way! I repeat, the Secretary General is number three in the party, not in government.”
And Fube said the PF had been captured by “economic partners”.
“There is state capture to some degree in this government and that’s sad. It’s very sad that we should have state capture here where people duly elected, enjoying a mandate to lead this country are now failing to deliver because they cannot take certain actions on the basis that they are now inclined to certain areas or certain people who are not necessarily the members of PF but are economic partners. That’s dangerous,” he said.
“And to some extent, the political sphere is that the politicians have too much power. They draw this from the Constitution, statutes and other laws. So those are things [in the Constitution] that must be reviewed, and we must keep looking for revision to this Constitution. The reason why I think most problems come with these issues is simply that the politicians are given power to appoint chairpersons of commissions. The minister appoints every director or chairperson of the commission. The minister also appoints sometimes the board of those commissions. Which means they have that control of saying that this is what you are going to do, this is the policy and this is the manifesto of the party and this is the direction you must take. So that’s where they get their power. The technocrats in terms of government also are answerable to the minister because the minister comes with his manifesto as coming from a political party.
Meanwhile, Fube noted that there was too much unemployment in Zambia.
“Sometimes it’s not about how many policies you have, it’s about how you implement them. The problem with the leadership is in execution and this is why sometimes part of my good members [in PF] think that I am speaking out of tone, no. It’s simply because I understand the potential of this country. If you give policies, no matter how good they are, in the wrong hands, execution will not work. We need the right mind frame to execute those policies. The policies may be good but what are we doing? We watch football everyday, we see [Christiano] Ronaldo playing football, Messi playing football, Rooney. We also see the likes of Vanessa Williams and her sister Serena, they play tennis as professionals but are they educated? I doubt, why? Because I know that some of them joined sports at a very young age and they have grown up there. Messi was a waiter in a cafe before he was spotted playing football in a park,” said Fube.
“So history tells you that we should not push our children only for academic exercise, there is a lot of employment there if the Zambian youths can realise their talents. Let’s not throw our children simply because they are not academically gifted. If they have got the talent, exploit that talent. Vanessa William and Serena were being trained by their father, Tiger Woods was trained by his father. I am trying to fight for change because I have seen that where we started off as a party is not where we are going, hence my fighting for the poor members of the Patriotic Front and for the Zambians at large. Because everywhere you go there is poverty in this country.”